Willis-Knighton Cancer Center Offers New Treatment for Newly-Diagnosed Glioblastoma

Feb 03, 2016

Willis-Knighton Cancer Center is now offering Optune, a medical device that, when used in conjunction with partial-brain radiotherapy and chemotherapy, has been shown to extend overall survival and progression-free survival of newly diagnosed patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Optune is a portable, noninvasive device that delivers low-intensity, alternating electric fields (referred to as Tumor Treating Fields) that inhibit cancer cell replication and cause cancer cells to die.

An article recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported information on a clinical trial that had studied this combined therapy. The investigating committee of the clinical trial recommended terminating the trial early for success and suggested that all control patients be offered Optune therapy. The two-year survival rate was 50% greater with Tumor Treatment Fields plus radiation and temozolomide versus radiation and temozolomide alone. 

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has approved this therapy for patients age 22 or older with a histologically-confirmed WHO Grade 4 primary brain tumor (glioblastoma multiforme). Although the device was initially designed to be used on its own after all radiation and chemotherapy options had been exhausted, these new data show that the Optune system has a role in the initial treatment of GBM. Optune is the first FDA-approved therapy in more than a decade to demonstrate statistically and clinically significant extension of survival in newly diagnosed GBM patients. 

Novocure has launched Optune in the United States, Germany, Switzerland and Japan. In the United States and Europe, Novocure provides Optune directly to patients following receipt of a prescription order from a certified physician. As of September 2015, Novocure had certified physicians at more than 270 global treatment centers. These trained physicians have treated more than 1,640 GBM patients to date.

Willis-Knighton Cancer Center in Shreveport has offered technologically-advanced cancer care for more than 15 years, providing many firsts for the region, including Louisiana’s first proton therapy unit which began treating patients in 2014.